Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Centralization is also referred to as bureaucracy or hierarchical structures. Centralization in organizational theory is defined as a hierarchical decisionmaking structure with layers of participants. In centralization, high-level administrators retain the authority while delegating implementation to subordinates. The power rests at a single point in the organization. In centralized systems, one individual may be responsible for decision making. Centralization is associated with bureaucratic systems. They are tightly controlled with clear chains of command. Bureaucracies were structurally designed as a form of standardization for coordination. The history of centralization, bureaucracy, and hierarchy are rooted in the work of Max Weber. Weber developed an organizational structure with characteristics that included division of labor, rules, hierarchy of authority, impersonality, and competence with authority linked to legitimacy. In Weber's model, leadership is derived from authority or the management position. The manager may also be a good leader, but leadership is not inherent in authority. ...